hELlenic BIOodiversity Information System: an innovative tool for biodiversity conservation

Reference: LIFE20 GIE/GR/001317 | Acronym: LIFE EL-BIOS

PROJECT DESCRIPTION

BACKGROUND

Although there is significant data on biodiversity in Greece, this is dispersed, since it is mostly collected by different actors, which produce disconnected datasets that may be unknown or even inaccessible to the stakeholders that need them. The absence of a common platform under a governmental structure coordinating all actors deprives the country of a robust, national biodiversity databank, weakens the impact of existing knowledge, and results in time-wasting and significant delays when management decisions and investment funds are needed. Reliable and accessible information is essential for field management, reporting needs, environmental permitting and other purposes.


OBJECTIVES

The LIFE EL-BIOS project will fill the aforementioned gaps by designing, developing and implementing a central biodiversity information system, “EL-BIOS”, operated by the Natural Environment and Climate Change Agency (NECCA). This will integrate existing biodiversity datasets and compile up-to-date information (spatial and non-spatial) on statuses and trends, threats and pressures, innovative techniques and other pertinent information. The system will function as the major national biodiversity tool in Greece; the project will demonstrate its potential to improve, combine, analyse and facilitate biodiversity data flow, meta-analysis and timely delivery of information to environmental actors.

The project will also introduce Earth observation, remote sensing and wireless sensor techniques for monitoring habitats and ecosystems in Greece which will support the development/adaptation of future protocols for national biodiversity monitoring.

All the above will enhance the national capacity to conserve biodiversity effectively in Greece, leading to enhanced protection of nature.


RESULTS

Expected results:

  • Development and operation of the first national biodiversity information system in Greece, exploiting information and communication technology and Earth observation;
  • Training of more than 100 personnel at NECCA and management units of the Natura 2000 network on the system’s use, updating and data entry/processing;
  • Development of a national biodiversity database with more than 200,000 entries, integrating data from at least 8 existing biodiversity databases (including reporting databases for the EU nature directives, at least 30 LIFE projects, and deliverables from over 40 research programmes);
  • Support for the development of standardised and homogeneous national protocols for biodiversity data monitoring and digital storage, adopted by the Ministry of Environment and Energy (MEE) and NECCA;
  • A signed memorandum of cooperation achieving broad consensus from all relevant actors for a new national set of traditional and Earth observation-based biodiversity indicators;
  • Implementation of EL-BIOS and testing of its services in two pilot areas: Northern Pindos National Park (in 11 Natura 2000 sites) and the National Park of Wetlands Kotychi-Strofilia (in 5 Natura 2000 sites);
  • Operation of the first instance of a Hellenic Earth Observation Biodiversity Data Cube in Greece over the 2 pilot areas;
  • Capacity building in the use of EL-BIOS among target audiences: 100 people at MEE and over 20 people from management units of the Natura 2000 network; production of a bilingual guide for biodiversity management and monitoring in Greece based on the system;
  • Project dissemination to NGOs, researchers and personnel of other related environmental stakeholders (e.g. forest directorates, the Forest Service, and the Hellenic Agricultural Organisation - DEMETER); and
  • Improvement in the management and conservation of Greek nature and biodiversity long term, through implementation of the project in at least 446 sites of the Natura 2000 network, covering over a quarter (36,000 km2) of Greece’s terrestrial surface and almost a fifth of Greece's territorial marine area.

ADMINISTRATIVE DATA


Reference: LIFE20 GIE/GR/001317
Acronym: LIFE EL-BIOS
Start Date: 04/10/2021
End Date: 31/03/2025
Total Budget: 2,571,132 €
EU Contribution: 1,354,524 €
Project Location:

CONTACT DETAILS


Coordinating Beneficiary: GREEN FUND
Legal Status: PAT
Address: Villa Kazouli, 241 Kifisias Avenue, GR14561, Kifisia, Athens - Attica, Ellas
Contact Person: Georgios Protopapas
Email: gprotopapas@prasinotameio.gr
Tel: 302105241903
Website: https://www.prasinotameio.gr


LIFE Project Map

ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES ADDRESSED

THEMES

  • Ecological coherence
  • Environmental training - Capacity building
  • Improved legislative compliance and enforcement
  • Public and Stakeholders participation
  • Coastal
  • Forests

KEYWORDS

  • biodiversity
  • environmental training
  • social participation
  • forest

BENEFICIARIES

Name Type
EKBY(The Goulandris Natural History Museum - Greek Biotope Wetland Centre (EKBY)), Greece Participant
UTH - DECE(University of Thessaly (UTH) - Department of Electrical and Computer Engineering (DECE)), Greece Participant
OLYMPUS(OLYMPOS CONSULTING P.C.), Greece Participant
NECCA(Natural Environment and Climate Change Agency (NECCA)), Greece Participant
AUTH-DRSE(Aristotle University of Thessaloniki - Special Account for Research Funds), Greece Participant
ETC - UMA(European Topic Centre (ETC) - University of Malaga (UMA)), Spain Participant
Green Fund Coordinator